Andrew_Kohut_2011_03

“We are at a moment when most Americans believe crime rates are rising and when most believe gun ownership – not gun control – makes people safer. Why public views on crime have grown more dire is unclear, though many blame it on the nature of news coverage, reality TV and political rhetoric.” – Pew Research Center founding director Andrew Kohut in More crime-wary Americans turn to guns – poll [at rt.com]

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31 Responses to Quote of the Day: POV Edition

    • Well, he’s entirely correct that the majority of people incorrectly believe that crime is far worse now than it was “in the good old days” of the 80’s and 90’s (when those of us in the 30-40 range were kids). He’s also correct that it’s primarily due to the invention of 24/7 “news” (I use the term loosely) channels in the late 90’s / early 2000’s. These outlets know that they don’t have enough material to run 24/7, so they exaggerate and replay the same stories over and over – they also know that people don’t sit staring at the TV if the news reporter says “Everything is wonderful!”; they stay glued to the TV when they say “Is your child going to be raped and murdered? Stay tuned to find out!”. Hell, he’s also right in that more people are buying guns because they think crime is going up.

      The only place where he’s wrong is thinking that it’s a bad thing for gun ownership to be increasing.

      • I figure I’ll share this here because it nearly made me s***t myself today, I’m in school currently getting my CJ degree. The book I’m currently having to work on, the one for my criminology class, is actually PRO civilian gun ownership. I know, I nearly had a heart attack myself. It even cited John Lott’s “More Gun’s Less Crime”. And several other issues such as how gun carry laws reduce crime, castle doctrine and guns in the home reduce crime, and how even robberies and burglaries in Europe are worse because the lack of self defense options and laws in Europe. It also ridiculed the notion that crime in Europe is lower that the U.S. because European systems make it easier for criminals to get away with/get off free from crime, making crime rates appear low, when in reality they’re not.

      • “A common household cleaner could explode and kill your entire family. We’ll tell you which one, tonight at 11.”

      • I’ve said it before here that police manipulate crime reports to make it look like they are doing a great job preventing crime. Any criminology class will address the tactics they use to manipulate statistics the same way antis due. Check out how the FBI calculates the percentage of people raped in this county.

        Aside from that if crime is dropping it could be that our population is just getting to old for it. Can’t really imagine my dad if he were still around running with some AARP gang fighting in a turf war. Maybe if someone had tried to take his recliner…

  1. American’s have turned to guns because they like them for a whole host of reasons.

    Kohut is right about the perceptions though. Before CNN and before the internet crime, unless it was spectacular like Ted Bundy or the Dapper Don, John Gotti, was local. That included organized crime. Growing up in Chicago you heard about hits there and not even New York City. Now, there is no local news and you get reporting of a shooting in podunk Iowa. Of course it looks like crime is out of control. Before the nationalization of news no one outside of the St Louis area would have heard of Michael Brown.

    • I think perception is that violent crime is much more randomized now. In the idyllic days of yesteryear, violent crime only happened in “bad neighborhoods” of large cities. As long as you stayed out of the “bad neighborhoods”, you didn’t have to take any precautions. Now, violent crime seems to happen even in the suburbs or rural areas (gasp!). If that is indeed people’s perception, it could explain increasing support for firearms ownership.

      Whether or not violent crime really is more randomized I have no idea.

  2. Gotta love how they are switching tacks YET AGAIN…

    How can they argue “gun violence” if we keep hammering them with actual crime stats? Well, change the narrative of course!

    So, now they are acknowledging the drop in violent crime rates (despite returning gun freedoms!) and what’s their claim? The dropping crime rates are DUE TO GUN CONTROL!

    It is truly amazing watching a movement premised on lies destroy itself from the inside out.

    • What is more amazing is why anti gun movement exist. The only reason is they’re Judases of Liberty, collecting coin by selling our rights for an unjust cause.

    • “It is truly amazing watching a movement premised on lies destroy itself from the inside out.”

      Oh, yes. Yes indeed.

      Check out this ‘lil snippet from the Russia Today article:

      “Support for restricting the use of guns has dropped most dramatically among white Americans who believe crime is on the rise.”

      And why do they believe crime is on the rise?

      Because the very mass media that wants oh-so-much to enlighten, er, ‘brainwash’ the public is now convincing that same public they need to tool up.

      They apparently have never raised children. The fastest, most certain way to get a pig-headed child to do something is to freak out and ‘order’ them not to do it.

      Message to Bloomberg et. al:

      Keep doing exactly what you are doing. Your PR is now better than all our PR COMBINED!

      Don’t change a thing, guys…

      The Schadenfreude is most delicious… 🙂

  3. I’d like to agree with this fella, but he really didn’t say a flippin’ thing. He’s even too dumbfounded to put the usual progressive spin on it.

  4. That recent Pew Research poll indicated that 2 out of 3 people believe a firearm in the home makes them safer. And then we have the recent Gallup poll where less than half of respondents want more gun control. I anticipate thousands of gun grabbers’ heads exploding upon learning about those two polls.

  5. Could it be that just maybe one of these things has nothing at all to do with the other?
    So much time and money has been wasted over the decades trying to connect crime rates with gun laws for the simple purpose of guiding public opinion to a predetermined conclusion.
    The only worthwhile bit of info is that crime has not increased in kind with liberalization of gun laws and increased sales and most reports never bring that up.

  6. Yep the drive by media is the reason people think crime is up. The blow heats in public office and elsewhere who profit from the public believing it go through the drive by media to fear monger.

  7. He’s partially right. People are seeing more frequent crime (but that’s mostly due to more people) and people are having to use guns to defend themselves as violent crime itself appears up (whether it really is or just more people is debatable). but the key thing is that police corruption is at a gaining rate to where people don’t trust calling them about an incident until it’s over. We are now in an era where you shoot a criminal, call your lawyer and then call the cops while waiting with your arms on the hood of your car so you don’t get immediately executed.

  8. The gradual realization that the police aren’t actually there to protect you may have something to do with it.

  9. People are learning that regardless of what the crime rate happens to be at any given moment is irrelevant when it happens to them personally and they would rather be prepared for it than wait for a 911 response. The net result is violent crime has decreased, which is a good thing.

  10. Did they specify what type of “crime rates” are up? Because if you include the illegal actions of the powers that be lately I’d have to agree that the crime rate is up too.

  11. It was PEW’s Poll in early December 2014 that found 52% of respondents FAVOR LESS GUN CONTROL and 46% FAVOR more gun control.

    For the first time in more than two decades, there is more support for gun rights than gun control. Currently, 52% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46% say it is more important to control gun ownership.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/data-trend/domestic-issues/gun-control/

    Yeah, I think 24/7 News emphasizes Violent Crimes as “filler”, but it is unclear how many Americans watch Cable News providers regularly as opposed to Local News (which airs only periodically throughout any given day). All Media have jumped on the sensational violent stories extensively, and possibly that is the source of the perception violent crime is on the rise. It also seems violent crime happens in a wider range of localities than it seemed to in days past. Police are more vilified than in past times, as well, so the perception the Police are “not your friend” and don’t really protect you is growing.

    I would add to all this the fact people now live in a “fast information” environment which has created an expectation that anything and everything SHOULD happen much faster than it does. So, people Call 911 and expect the Police to be there almost instantly, which doesn’t happen. The result is people realize crime happens in seconds, the Police respond in minutes (many minutes in some cases), so, you’re better off being able to defend yourself as the crime unfolds, rather than depending on the Police, and the BEST way to do that is being armed with a firearm. I think this is an important factor in the entire equation.

  12. Wow. A perfect example of the “Fox Butterfield Effect”: Expressing a supposed paradox when a causal relationship should be obvious.

  13. I think a lot of the “political rhetoric” he refers to comes from the antis themselves (even as they oddly excoriate the pro-gun groups for “fear-mongering): “epidemic of gun violence”, “escalating gun violence”, “a bajillion gazillion school shootings since Sandy Hook”, etc, etc. It’s just that the ordinary folks who can put 2 and 2 together to get 4 are also getting the message, “the cops evidently can’t protect us, maybe we should tool up to protect ourselves.” Kind of like that famous MDA “domestic violence” ad writ large.

  14. Why? Because there’s 200x the news media necessary, all going sensationalist to get an edge over everybody else. Curb it to 3 outlets and the problem will resolve itself.

    • What 3 outlets would you allow? And my guess is that if only three outlets were allowed, they would all sing the same leftwing song. No thanks.

  15. The media mantra is “if it bleeds, it leads.” No wonder why many low-intellect voters think that crime is way up. OTOH, the mantra of the armed citizen is “if it bleeds, it tried to break into my house.”

  16. Yes, a growing majority of Americans feel safer owning guns. However, it doesn’t have too much to do with the crime rate. The feel of threat is coming from the government and from entitled mobs, not the thug on the street.

    Armed response to criminals has already been shown to work. Often without the need to even fire a shot. What we are starting to see now are the first steps in seeing that mentality expanded to a larger social scale.

  17. He’s right in the fact that crime is down, he’s also right in that more people are buying guns. I have bad news for both sides though. Every time I buy a gun, it’s more often than not for recreation, at least 2:1. The bad news for the haters, not every shooter has 2 ammo belts across their chest, a helmet, and an AK with 3 mags taped together. I’m just saying, if someone wants to run a stat, see what guns their buying, not how many. How many 7-11s are knocked over with a Ruger Red Label.

  18. A lie told often enough becomes the truth. — Vladimir Lenin

    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. — Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s minister of propaganda)

    How many times have we been told that crime is getting worse by the media and our elected politicians? This lie has become the truth, because most people believe it to be true. The truth is less important than what people believe to be truth.

  19. Crime can be as low as it wants, I don’t care. Just because there’s less crime than there used to be doesn’t mean it sucks less when you wish you had a gun. Or even the prerequisite that crime is entangled with the 2nd Amendment in the first place.

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